The Kite Runner
by Khaled Hosseini
The Kite Runner Chapter 25 Summary
How It All Goes Down
- Amir is at the hospital. Orderlies wheel Sohrab into the emergency ward – Amir has to stay in the waiting room. He's beside himself with shock and panic.
- Amir grabs some linens from a supply closet. He asks the nurse which way is west, but she doesn't understand his question. A policeman nearby points. Amir kneels down and prays to Allah, promising he'll fast and pray and make a pilgrimage if only God will save Sohrab. (Amir also asks forgiveness.)
- Late at night, Amir falls asleep in the waiting room. No word yet on Sohrab. Amir hopes this is all a dream.
- Dr. Nawaz wakes up Amir. Sohrab is alive. The doctors had to give him several blood transfers, but Sohrab made it – he wouldn't have if he weren't young and strong.
- Dr. Nawaz takes Amir to see Sohrab in the ICU. Amir falls asleep again. The nurse takes him to a nearby lounge where he can get some rest. It's morning. He dozes off and has a dream where Dr. Nawaz turns into Raymond Andrews.
- Amir keeps watch over Sohrab during the day and wanders around the hospital at night. The doctors move Sohrab out of the ICU, which is a good sign. Amir goes back to the hotel and tosses and turns all night. As expected, the hotel manager kicks Amir out of the hotel in the morning – suicide attempts are bad for business. Amir understands. He leaves for the hospital.
- Amir stops at a Persian bookstore.
- Amir arrives at the hospital. Sohrab is in his new room, though he's on suicide watch. Amir tries talking to Sohrab but without much success. He even tries reading the Shahnamah which he bought at the Persian bookstore. That doesn't work either.
- Sohrab says he's "tired of everything" (25.47). He wishes Amir had left him in the bathtub. Or that he had his old life back – Rahim Khan, Hassan, Farzana, and Sanaubar.
- Amir tells Sohrab he can't give him his old life back, but that he can take Sohrab to America now – that's what he wanted to tell Sohrab when he knocked on the bathroom door.
- Amir asks for Sohrab's forgiveness and tells Sohrab he'll never go back on a promise ever again. Sohrab doesn't respond. As Sohrab drifts off to sleep again, he says, "I am so khasta [tired]" (25.60).
- Sohrab never really accepts Amir's offer take him to America. But he doesn't decline it either. And there's nowhere else for Sohrab to go, so Amir takes Sohrab with him to America.
- One night, back in his and Soraya's home in Fremont, California, Amir can't sleep. He wanders into the room they've given to Sohrab. Amir picks up the photograph of Hassan and Sohrab, which Sohrab has put under his pillow. Amir realizes that he's forgiven Baba for loving Hassan.
- The next night, Amir and Soraya have the General and Khanum Taheri over for dinner. Amir tells the General about the state of Kabul and Afghanistan.
- The General asks about Sohrab – why did Amir bring a Hazara boy back? Khanum Taheri and Soraya try to intervene, but Amir stands up for himself and tells the General very bluntly that Sohrab is his nephew. He tells the General about Baba and Sanaubar and Hassan. And gives the General a little piece of advice: "You will never again refer to him as 'Hazara boy' in my presence. He has a name and its Sohrab" (25.98). Boo-yah.
- So, all this time, ever since the hospital in Islamabad, Sohrab hasn't said a word. He's been completely silent. It's hard on Soraya, who thought up all sorts of activities for her adopted son. But Sohrab sleeps and is silent.
- September 11th happens. Amir arrived back in the States with Sohrab in August, so about a month passes before the Towers fall. Suddenly, everyone is talking about Afghanistan and the cities of Amir's childhood. The US Army invades Afghanistan.
- Soraya and Amir get involved in charity work for a hospital on the Afghan-Pakistani border.
- Sohrab is still silent.
- Shift to March of 2002. Khanum Taheri, Amir, Soraya, and Sohrab all go to Lake Elizabeth Park to celebrate the Afghan New Year. It's raining. People are cooking traditional dishes, playing Ahmad Zahir songs, and telling Mullah Nasruddin jokes. Sohrab wanders around and Amir informs us no one really comments on Sohrab's muteness anymore – Sohrab has just become a part of "the background" (25.117).
- In the afternoon, the rain stops. Someone fires up a barbecue and grills kabobs; someone puts on some new music Amir hasn't heard. And, most, importantly, people are flying kites.
- Amir buys a kite. He walks over to Sohrab and shows him the kite. He tells Sohrab about the old days when Hassan was the best kite runner in all of Kabul.
- Amir asks Sohrab if he wants to help him fly the kite. No answer. So Amir takes off running and the wind lifts his kite into the air. Amir notices Sohrab is standing right beside him.
- Although Sohrab doesn't answer when Amir asks if he wants to hold the string, Sohrab does take the string in his hands. It's a big moment.
- A green kite starts closing in. (Don't forget the fighting part of Afghan kite flying!) Sohrab hands the string to Amir and Amir, very confidently, says he going to teach the green kite a lesson.
- While Sohrab holds the spool, Amir does Hassan's "old lift-and-dive" trick. Amir is transported back to Kabul – Hassan, crows, mulberries, sawdust, and Ali dragging his foot. Amir cuts the green kite!
- The people watching applaud. Sohrab smiles. And when Amir asks Sohrab if he wants Amir to run the green kite for him, Amir thinks he sees Sohrab nod.
- Before he takes off, Amir says to Sohrab, just like Hassan said all those years ago in Kabul, "For you, a thousand times over" (25.164).
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